A city is no longer the best location to rent an SUV, for example.
Now, the best cities to rent car-sharing services are smaller towns with fewer residents, according to new research by a car rental firm.
Car rental company Covid-19 CarShare says it is the third-largest provider of car-share services in Canada, with more than 50,000 drivers and about 6,000 vehicles on its fleet.
The company says its service has helped more than 30,000 customers get to work and to school, and that it also has been a boon to small businesses.
The research is the first to analyze the availability of car rental services in cities with populations of less than 1 million.
According to Covid, which offers cars to people who have no other vehicles, the number of cars on the road in the city has fallen sharply over the past decade.
Its survey found that the proportion of cars that are leased by residents fell from 24.9 per cent in 2007 to 16.5 per cent last year, and its share of the market dropped from 23.9 to 17.2 per cent.
The survey was done by phone and online, with a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.
The report also found that CarShare is growing rapidly in the Greater Toronto Area.
The region’s car-rental market is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, according the company.
Covid said it was one of a handful of companies to make the study, but that it was the first of its kind to examine the trends in car-shelters and drivership rates.
“The study highlights the need for cities to consider a variety of factors in their plans to grow their car-hailing market,” Covid CEO Chris Clements said in a statement.
In its analysis, Covid found that it has seen a decline in the number and popularity of the popular Uber-like UberX and Lyft services.
That trend, it said, is likely to continue because of a growing number of local jurisdictions and a number of factors, including an increased number of vehicles on the roads, a decrease in the cost of cars and a rise in the proportion that are used for short-term rentals.
Other cities with larger populations and a larger share of its fleet, including Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton, saw an increase in the usage of the services.
The study also found no significant trends in the use of other car-shares, such as a rise or a decline of the number or percentage of carpools or Lyft rides.